If you often make homemade yogurt, bake chickens, makes roasts, or do anything that requires frequent temperature checking over extended periods of time, a remote thermometer is a must-have. One of the best I’ve used, and one of the most affordable, is the Thermoworks Dot.
This is a small thermometer that uses built-in magnets to attach to a surface near your oven or range. It included a probe with a heat-shielded cord which plugs into the thermometer. The setup is as simple as can be, with the probe simply plugging into the side of the thermometer using a headphone-like jack.
The probe is replaceable, in case it wears out or is lost (a downside of it being detachable). The probe itself is Thermoworks 4.5-inch Pro-Series and it attached wit a 47-inch long cable.
One feature is notably lacking from the setup is a clip to hold the probe upright in a pot. Thermoworks does sell the clip for $4, so it’s easy and affordable to get one, but it really should be included.
The Dot is what’s known as an “alarm thermometer” which means that you set a maximum temperature and then the alarm goes off when the temperature is reached. This means that the device only has two buttons on it: up and down. You use these to set the alarm temperature and then the thermometer beeps when it gets to the desired temperature. It keeps beeping so long the temperature is at that level or above, but you can remove the probe from the food or unplug the probe to turn the alarm off.
The thermometer is quite accurate, as demonstrated with boiling water and ice water tests we conducted. Thermoworks says that it’s designed for a precision level of +/-1.8° F (+/-1.0° C) when in a standard temperature range (-4 to 248° F (-20 to 120° C)), through the maximum temperature is 700° F.
The battery life of the device is about 6 months, with usage not really mattering so much as the thermometer is always on. Thermoworks says the two AAA batteries should last you a year, so maybe my initial batteries were duds. Either way, the batteries last a very long time and are easy to replace.
In summary, the Dot is an excellent little thermometer that greatly improve long, slow cooks — like homemade yogurt — or anything that is very temperature sensitive or you might want take your eyes off of for a few minutes. It’s been a lifesaver for me as I never scorch my yogurt milk any more which, at over $5 a gallon, means the $40 thermometer has already bought itself back in saved time and replacement milk.
By the way, if you need a dual temperature probe (with one probe in the food and one in the oven or barbecue), then the thermometer you want is the Square Dot which costs $65.